03/26/2008 11:00PM

Jones getting better results on Polytrack


A little more than a year ago as Larry Jones was preparing Hard Spun for the Lane's End Stakes, the trainer feigned nervousness about racing his colt over Turfway's Polytrack, noting he had never trained a horse to win over a synthetic surface.

At the time Jones was 0 for 14. But in the year that has followed, he has gone 3 for his last 13 with horses racing over Polytrack.

"It took a little practice," Jones said jokingly.

Rather, it took a couple of good horses. Hard Spun won the Lane's End as the favorite last year, and followed it with a triumph in the Kentucky Cup Classic last fall. Then last week, Maren's Meadow won the Grade 3 Bourbonette for Jones.

Saturday, Jones aims to add to his recent synthetic success when he starts Sweetdownthelane in Turfway Park's $50,000 Fairway Fun Stakes against a full field that includes stakes winners Stop a Train, Delicate Dynamite, La Perouse, Fun Logic, and Sweet Belle.

Although winless on Polytrack in three starts over the surface, Sweetdownthelane has run well on it, finishing second at Keeneland in October 2006, third in an allowance there last spring, and fourth at Turfway in the Grade 3 Kentucky Cup Distaff last fall.

"Last year we went to Turfway with her when we took Hard Spun for the Kentucky Cup," said Jones. "She didn't go in at her best, or have the best trip. So we'll give her one more shot."

Sweetdownthelane enters the Fairway Fun following a close third-place finish at Fair Grounds in the Feb. 16 Chou Croute Handicap, which has proven a productive race.

The winner, Elliecat, came back to finish a close second in the Fortin Handicap at Fair Grounds, and runner-up Unforgotten returned to win the Goddess Stakes at Delta Downs by 4 1/2 lengths.

Delicate Dynamite, a multiple stakes winner of more than $358,000, and La Perouse, who won the Likely Exchange Stakes at Turfway on Feb. 9, head the opposition.

Delicate Dynamite has disappointed in her last two starts vs. classier, but should improve in her second start off a layoff for trainer Tom Amoss. She likes the Turfway surface, having run second in the Kentucky Cup Juvenile Fillies in 2005 and second again in the 2007 Kentucky Cup Distaff, finishing 1 3/4 lengths in front of Sweetdownthelane.